ERIC Identifier: ED347471
Publication Date: 1992-12-00
Author: Crouch, Toni - Walz, Garry R.
Clearinghouse on Counseling and Personnel Services Ann Arbor MI.
CHDF-Partner in Professionalism. ERIC Digest.
The Counseling and Human Development Foundation (CHDF) is the only national
philanthropic organization whose sole purpose is the enhancement of individual
human development by conducting and fostering programs of research and education
in counseling and human development. As a 501(C)(3) corporation under the
Internal Revenue Service regulations, donations made to CHDF qualify as
CHDF was created in 1979 by the American Counseling Association (ACA) to
strengthen educational and research opportunities for professional counselors.
ACA, the professional association for counselors, represents 60,000 professional
counselors nationwide. Although a separate and independent "not-for-profit"
corporation, CHDF has continued to work closely with ACA, serving as its
"Partner in Professionalism" to strengthen the counseling profession.
CHDF'S PAST ACCOMPLISHMENTS
CHDF, since its founding, has
had a strong commitment to facilitating research both through program offerings
at ACA national conventions and through a Professional Enhancement Grant
Program. A key feature of the convention program offerings by ACA has been to
encourage counselors to undertake research on topics relevant to their current
activities. Past research grant winners have also shared ideas about quality
research as have the CHDF Trustees.
The Professional Enhancement Grant Program alone has awarded over $150,000 to
support research projects in the areas of: counseling effectiveness/outcomes,
specific populations, pre- and in-service preparation, public awareness and
support, and professional issues. Completed research projects are put into ERIC
so all counselors can benefit from the research.
Throughout its history CHDF has also provided support to ACA and its Regions,
Branches and Divisions. One of the earliest grant programs initiated by CHDF was
the Branch/Region Grant Program which awarded over $25,000 to 32 ACA Regions and
Branches. CHDF's financial assistance to ACA in the past includes providing
funds to modernize and upgrade ACA furnishings, equipment, data processing and
word processing, among other headquarters improvements; purchasing the land upon
which the headquarters building is situated, and transferring that land to ACA
when it purchased the building; contributing to the purchase of the ACA property
on Capitol Hill; and maintaining and evaluating the performance of the
investment portfolio available to provide high yield and low fees.
In 1991 the Board of Trustees began a
formal review of past accomplishments to determine future directions, and
concluded that CHDF must expand its programs in order to keep pace with the
needs of the profession and society as a whole. The urgent and expanding need to
provide counseling services to a growing number of people led CHDF to redefine
its program objectives for the 1990s.
The Board of Trustees began this process by soliciting input from 267 ACA
leaders who were asked to complete a Program Objective Survey. This survey asked
the leaders to indicate their priority ranking of objectives and activities
which could be funded by CHDF. The Board of Trustees then reviewed this
information and decided to focus our limited resources on three critical areas:
research, professional development, and public awareness/recognition. Taken
together, these programs will ensure that professional counselors not only know
and use the most effective techniques to help, but also that people in need will
know what services can best be provided by professional counselors and how to
access that help.
CHDF's program continues to emphasize research as
a means of helping professional counselors. The research agenda for the 90s
concentrates on advocacy research and efficacy/outcome research in order to
increase the impact of funding dollars.
Advocacy research documents what professional counselors do and what roles
are appropriate for professional counselors in the mental health arena. Advocacy
research demonstrated the need for professional counselors, what advantages are
gained by employing professional counselors, and how they can work with other
professionals to provide optimum service.
Efficacy/outcome research answers two basic questions: What works? What works
best? Not all of the techniques and programs which professional counselors have
developed have been subjected to rigorous evaluation to establish when they are
most appropriate or which are most successful. Providing such research data will
improve professional counselors' skills as it helps them determine what the best
program is for clients. Lack of research data has also been a hindrance to side
acceptance and implementation of new programs. Without research to prove that a
new program or technique works, other professional counselors may be reluctant
or unable to try it. CHDF's focus on efficacy/outcome research will help make
this data available.
CHDF plans to implement a program
of support for professional development opportunities immediately. The initial
stage will include pre-convention workshops (in conjunction with ACA's Annual
Convention) and in-service training. During 1992-93, CHDF will focus its efforts
on expanding professional counselors' skills and understanding of research
techniques and grant review procedures. The goal is to expand the pool of
trained researchers in order to enhance CHDF's research program as well as
maximize the impact of the research which we support. CHDF will work closely
with ACA's Professional Development Department to make our programs available at
reduced fees so that more professional counselors can participate.
CHDF's goal is to expand this program significantly in the upcoming years so
that professional development opportunities on a wide-range of topics are
accessible to professional counselors nationwide. This becomes more important as
CHDF's research program begins to identify techniques and programs which are
most effective--Professional Development Programs will help train professional
counselors in these proven techniques. Such a concerted effort of linking
research results to professional development will provide professional
counselors with the most effective tools available.
CHDF has targeted public
awareness and recognition for the counseling profession as one of our top
priorities. Professional counselors help people throughout their life spans to
resolve problems and face challenges, yet many people are not aware the
profession exists. Fewer still know that special training is necessary to become
a professional counselor. CHDF wants to make the public and policy makers aware
of the important role of professional counselors so that they are accessible
CHDF's first step is to develop and implement our Community Disaster Response
Program. Our goal is to mobilize counseling support in times of crisis, such as
the Challenger explosion, Hurricane Hugo, the Gulf War, or the Los Angeles
riots. Not only will this provide help when and where it is needed, but it can
also highlight professional counselors' roles in helping those in need. When
national attention is focused on the aftermath of a disaster, the role
professional counselors play in alleviating personal pain in times of crises
needs to be highlighted so that more people can benefit from that service in the
CHDF is committed to the counseling profession and the people it serves.
Professional counselors offer a vital service helping to alleviate suffering and
to prevent an individual's difficulties from becoming major mental health
problems. Professional counselors need to be recognized as highly-skilled
professionals whose programs are based on sound research and whose skills are
continuously upgraded to reflect the most current and effective techniques. CHDF
has expanded its support in research, professional development, and public
awareness to help develop that recognition.
As the only national philanthropy dedicated to
enhancing the role, skills, and research base for professional counselors, CHDF
is in a unique position to serve this vital profession. Its close relationship
with ACA ensures that CHDF will continue to complement the association's
programs, and thus increase CHDF's impact on the pressing issues affecting
counselors today. Professional counselors can ensure the success of our programs
through their active involvement, not only financial support, but more
importantly participation in the development and implementation of program
objectives. CHDF serves the counseling profession, and offers opportunities for
counselors to advance their profession.
The CHDF Cornerstone Quarterly Newsletter.
American Counseling Association: Alexandria, Virginia.
Toni Crouch is Development Officer of the Counseling and Human Development